Our stuttering past
Yes, we’re actual brothers and in the past we stuttered severely. Hille’s head used to shake whenever he really wanted to say something while Sjoerd rather kept his mouth shut to avoid stuttering altogether.
Stuttering held us back in everything. Starting a conversation, cracking a joke or introducing ourselves never happened without nerves and hesitation and it usually resulted in us saying nothing at all.
“He did his own thing, we didn’t see him often, but he graduated, so congratulations.” Those were the final words that Sjoerd received during his highschool graduation ceremony. In the meantime, Hille had to quit college. His second year required a lot of communication with people around him. Wanting none of that he started to avoid situations, didn’t meet the required amount of credits and so he had to leave college.
Hille was sent to speech therapy at an early age in an attempt to fix his stutter. Unfortunately there was no such outcome. After multiple years of frustration and disappointment he decided to try again during his early 20’s. Things started to look better for a while but after some time Hille found himself in a relapse. He was back to where he started. The approach heavily focussed on the physical aspects of stuttering, the actual speaking, which led to a relapse time and time again.
All in all a lot of frustration that you’re probably familiar with. Not being able to say what you want to say, not being able to show the real you, and then trying to accept the situation even though it doesn’t feel right.
And it really didn’t feel right. Trying to live with stuttering in that way didn’t work for us. Stuttering was too much of a restriction for us to accept it. That’s why, around 4 years ago, we decided to take matters into our own hands in order to fully understand stuttering and overcome it.
We ordered books, searched the internet and above all get ourselves into conversations more to practise. We had to figure it out, we were fed up with it. We were much more than we were able to show the world because of stuttering.